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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 836157, 13 pages
Research Article

A Higher Frequency of CD4+CXCR5+ T Follicular Helper Cells in Adult Patients with Minimal Change Disease

1Key Laboratory of Zoonosis Research, Ministry of Education, The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2Department of Pediatrics, First Affiliated Hospital of Jiamusi University, Jiamusi 154002, China
3Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou 225009, China

Received 21 April 2014; Revised 23 June 2014; Accepted 14 July 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Timo Gaber

Copyright © 2014 Nan Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. T follicular helper (TFH) cells are involved in the humoral immune responses. This study is aimed at examining the frequencies of different subsets of CD4+CXCR5+ TFH cells in adult patients with minimal change disease (MCD). Methods. A total of 27 patients and 14 healthy controls (HC) were characterized for the levels of sera cytokines, inducible T-cell costimulator (ICOS), and programmed death 1 (PD-1) of positive TFH cells by flow cytometry. The level of sera IL-21 was examined; 24 h urinary protein and eGFR were calculated. The potential correlation between the frequency of different subsets of TFH cells and the values of clinical measures in MCD patients were analyzed. Results. The frequency of circulating CD4+CXCR5+, CD4+CXCR5+ICOS+, and CD4+CXCR5+PD-1+ TFH cells and the levels of sera IL-17A, IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-10, IL-4, and IL-21 were significantly higher in MCD patients () than that in the HC group. Furthermore, the percentages of circulating CD4+CXCR5+ TFH cells were negatively correlated with the values of eGFR (, ) and the percentages of CD4+CXCR5+PD-1+ TFH cells were correlated positively with the levels of serum IL-21 (, ) and 24 h urinary protein (, ) in those patients. Also, the percentages of CD4+CXCR5+ICOS+ TFH cells were correlated positively with the levels of serum IL-21 (, ) and 24 h urinary protein (, ). Following standard therapies, the percentages of circulating CD4+CXCR5+, CD4+CXCR5+PD-1+, and CD4+CXCR5+ICOS+ TFH cells and the levels of serum IL-21 were significantly reduced, but the levels of serum IL-4 and IL-10 were increased (). Conclusions. A higher frequency of CD4+CXCR5+ TFH cells that existed in adult patients with MCD could be new target for intervention of MCD.